Delta to launch first biometric terminal in U.S. in December

Delta biometric check-in
Passengers can have their biometrics captured at the check-in kiosk [Image: Delta Air Lines]

Delta is introducing the first biometric terminal in the U.S. – at ATL’s Terminal F in December.

Delta is launching the technology in in partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Plans for the new system were initially announced in September.

Passengers flying direct to an international destination on Delta, Aeromexico, Air France, KLM or Virgin Atlantic Airways can use facial recognition technology from curb to gate, including to:

  • Check in at the self-service kiosks in the International lobby
  • Drop checked baggage at the counters in the International lobby
  • Serve as identification at the TSA checkpoint
  • Board a flight at any gate in Terminal F
  • Go through CBP processing for international passengers arriving into the U.S.

Touch points throughout the terminal in Atlanta started coming online in mid-October – nearly all 25,000 customers who travel through ATL Terminal F each week are choosing this optional process, with less than 2 percent opting out.

And, based on initial data, the facial recognition option is saving an average of two seconds for each passenger at boarding, or nine minutes when boarding a wide body aircraft.

Gil West, Delta’s COO:

“Delta’s successful launch of the first biometric terminal in the U.S. at the world’s busiest airport means we are designing the airport biometric experience blueprint for the industry.

“We’re removing the need for a customer checking a bag to present their passport up to four times per departure – which means we’re giving customers the option of moving through the airport with one less thing to worry about, while empowering our employees with more time for meaningful interactions with customers.”

Delta plans to introduce the end-to-end airport biometric terminal at it’s hub in Detroit in 2019.

Bometric boarding at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)

Delta, in partnership with CBP and the Wayne County Airport Authority will expand the facial recognition boarding test that started in July to all 14 international gates at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport’s McNamara Terminal by mid-December.

This means that any passenger flying direct to an international destination from DTW will also have the option of using facial recognition technology at boarding.

In 2019, Delta will roll out facial recognition technology at DTW from curb to gate for its passengers.

Delta and biometrics

Over the past few years, Delta and CBP have tested facial recognition boarding at ATL, DTW and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Delta recently tested a self-service biometric bag drop at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport for international passengers.

Delta has also tested biometric boarding at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and has launched optional biometric check-in for all domestic Delta Sky Clubs.

N.B. Image credit: Delta Air Lines

Internet links

Delta Air Lines (DL)

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)

CBP

TSA